As you’ve probably heard by now, Netflix’s Daredevil has been cancelled. Ordinarily, the cancellation of a widely loved and critically acclaimed show that’s just aired its best season to date would be a shock, but the writing had been on the wall for this one ever since Iron Fist and Luke Cage were canned. Even so, it’ll surely dismay fans, who’d been so fearful of this particular outcome that the moment the third season aired they began campaigning for the show to receive a fourth season.
Whatever the studios say about the reasons for these shows being cancelled, the truth is pretty easy to figure out. Disney’s about to launch Disney Plus, their own high profile streaming service which will put them into direct competition with Netflix. This means that the partnership that resulted in the Netflix suite of shows would put one arm of the Disney corporation in direct competition against another, and that position is simply untenable. However, there is a ray of light to this news, as they hint that Daredevil may yet have a place in the MCU.
“Marvel is extremely grateful to the huge audience that loved Marvel’s Daredevil,” said the studio in a statement issued earlier today. “From the moment of young Matt’s first act of heroism to the birth of Page, Murdock, & Nelson, it has been a unbelievable journey. We are incredibly proud of the amazing showrunners and writers starting with Drew Goddard and Steven DeKnight, Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie and Erik Oleson, Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Vincent D’Onofrio and our casts who brought our characters to life with such excellence, and every one of the fantastic crews in NYC. We look forward to more adventures with the Man without Fear in the future.”
So, what could this mean for the character? Well, for fans of the show, the most optimistic outcome is that it’ll simply continue on into a fourth season on Disney’s streaming service, with the cast and crew making a leap between channels. This could happen, although I believe Netflix has part ownership of the series, so it might mean Disney facing a substantial payday to buy them out. Additionally, Disney’s streaming service will not feature mature content, which might lead to any future fourth season being accused of being neutered. Not only that, but a Disney spokesman has said that there are “no current plans” to move the shows off Netflix.
The only other option then is that the character will be rebooted, retooled and perhaps recast, maybe eventually appearing in the big screen MCU? That’d really ruffle the feathers of fans of the TV show, but might well prove to be the simplest option for Disney.
Whatever the case, though we will see Daredevil reappear in the MCU in some manner, it’s most likely going to be a couple of years until that happens. And honestly, that really sucks, especially considering how good the third season was.